Last Thursday most Ontarians granted the Ontario PC party a majority. No matter which candidate you have voted for you better know what the change in government could mean for the government finding. Below is my expert opinion based on the analysis of the OPC platform.
1. The change won’t impact the Federal funding programs such as CanExport for marketing activities to open new export markets, IRAP, etc.
2. The change will less likely impact jointly funded programs such as COJG for skills training, Canadian Agricultural Partnership which funds Ontario farmers, food and beverage manufacturers, and SR&ED Tax Credit.
3. Ontario Jobs and Prosperity Fund will most likely be terminated. New applications will not be accepted during the transition period.
4. Southwestern, Eastern and Northern Ontario development funds will likely remain intact, but the upcoming Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Development Fund promised by the Liberals in the last budget could never be open for applications.
5. The cancellation of Cap and Trade program will put all provincial greenhouse gas emission reduction funding at risk including Green ON initiatives (formerly SMART Green), Target GHG and several R&D funds focused on the subject. All those programs were financed by the revenue from Cap and Trade Program and carbon tax.
6. Expect delays. It will likely take the new government 3-6 months to get up to speed which may impact the new applications. They may be put on hold or rejected until further notice.
7. Value for dollar audit of the government programs. This is certainly a great idea I like as a taxpayer, and even though it will slow the provincial funding down, there is a chance that the most performing programs will be extended. However, it’s difficult to predict how long the audit will take, likely over a year. If you have received the provincial funding in the past, remember that the government has a right to get back to you with an audit even after your project is completed. You’d better start looking for project files and binders. Also, we don’t expect any new programs until the old programs are audited.
If you have never applied for the provincial finding it is a good idea to check which programs your business is eligible for and try our improved self-service eligibility check.